NHTSA Investigating Gear Selector in Jeep Grand Cherokee, Possibly Other Models
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating complaints that gear selector handles on Jeep Grand Cherokees may slip out of park and cause the car to roll away, Automotive News is reporting.
Owners have detailed several complaints to NHTSA who said their Grand Cherokees rolled away while parked, including one person in Michigan who said a child was injured exiting the rollaway vehicle.
A similar transmission selector was used in the 2014 Chrysler 300. An owner complained of a similar problem in that car, where it rolled away and crashed into two other vehicles.
Chrysler changed the transmission selector in 2015 in both cars, but it’s unclear if the investigation or owner complaints prompted the switch. Many people (including yours truly) thought the handle was slightly confusing to use, and several NHTSA complaints echo that sentiment.
According to the agency, roughly 408,000 cars could be impacted by a potential recall.
As part of its settlement with the government, an independent monitor will review Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s handling of recalls for two years.
We reached out to FCA for comment on the investigation, but haven’t heard back.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the safety administration that is investigating the complaints. It is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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My wife's 14 GC has this shifter. The biggest issue we've had (in two years) is that, sometimes, if you are trying to K turn or back out of the garage quickly, you end up in neutral instead of drive. This is an electronic shift selector made to look like a mechanical selector. If you are unfamiliar with the "feel" of an electronic selector, you will need to make a conscious effort to look at the dashboard and verify what gear you are really in. It's not that hard. I'm filing this under "user-error".
BMW has been using a similar shifter for a number of years. For better or worse, if the car is in gear with a door open and the driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal, it immediately jams it into park while rolling.